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Zara McDermott 'sad' to miss I'm a Celeb final and reunion with Sam Thompson

The reason why Zara McDermott hasn’t gone to Australia is actually quite sweet

Zara McDermott and Sam Thompson cuddling in black and white
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Zara McDermott has opened up about why she won’t be there to meet Sam Thompson as he leaves I’m a Celebrity on Sunday - and it’s a very sweet reason!

The star, who recently appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, revealed that she wasn’t in Australia to greet Sam as his best pal, TOWIE’s Pete Wicks, would be going to meet him at the end of the bride instead… because Sam thought that Zara would still be competing on the dancing show!

Replying in a Q&A on her Instagram Stories, one person asked if she was greeting Sam, to which she replied: "Pete is going. We've had a few laughs and jokes about this. But in all seriousness; Sam thought I was still going to be in Strictly (bless him, the optimism ), so Pete cleared his whole diary for 2/3 weeks to be there. I also have had to rush back to work as soon as Strictly finished to finish two of my documentaries before Xmas which I am currently abroad filming now. & we also have training for our final Strictly number." 

She continued: "So it was a bit impossible to clear everything but Sam was so excited by the idea of Pete being there anyway that he was happy for me to be waiting for him back at base. I'm obviously a bit sad not to be there though. But I am throwing a huge party for all our family & friends on the final night (keeping fingers crossed he's in it!!! so I'm in charge of hosting everyone at home!"

Pete also spoke about seeing Sam when he leaves the jungle, saying: "To be honest, I think ITV are sending me out there to protect Ant and Dec for when he comes out, because his obsession is real. I think it's the main reason he's done the show to be honest with you, just to get close to them, so I think I'm out there for protection."

WATCH: Sam Thompson moves I’m a Celeb viewers to tears with emotional chat

He jokily added: "Zara could have gone but we obviously thought Zara was still going to be in Strictly. Obviously now she could have gone, but I won't give up my place. Listen, first come, first served."

Zara was the fifth celebrity to leave the show with her partner, Graziano Di Prima, and she spoke about her Strictly experience at the time. In a post, she wrote: "I knew this day would come and I tried to prepare myself as best I could for it, but the reality is I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. 

"I first dreamt of dancing on Strictly when I was 7 years old, dancing round the living room wearing my little dress and wishing I could be one of the 'princesses' that I saw on screen. Little did I know that it would one day become a reality, and I’d have got myself half way through the competition."